10SBALLS • RICKY’S BEST ATP MATCHES OF 2017: NO. 5 IS WAWRINKA VS. MURRAY AT THE FRENCH OPEN

Written by: on 10th December 2017
Print This Post Print This Post
French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros
10SBALLS • RICKY'S BEST ATP MATCHES OF 2017: NO. 5 IS WAWRINKA VS. MURRAY AT THE FRENCH OPEN

epaselect epa06018607 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in action against Andy Murray of Britain during their men?s singles semi final match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 09 June 2017. EPA/CAROLINE BLUMBERG  |

Ricky’s best ATP matches of 2017: No. 5 is Wawrinka vs. Murray at the French Open

 

By Ricky Dimon

Over the next week, Ricky is counting down his top 10 men’s matches of the year, in order from No. 10 all the way down to No. 1. It continues at No. 5, with a five-set French Open thriller between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray. The Scot put himself one set away from the final, but Wawrinka roared back and powered his way through the fourth and fifth with an array of spectacular winners.

 

French Open semifinals: Stan Wawrinka d. Andy Murray 6-7(8), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1

When the main draw began at Roland Garros, 127 men were playing for second place (see: Nadal, Rafael). They did the same, it should be noted, at Wimbledon one month later (see: Federer, Roger). But that did nothing to diminish the entertainment level en route to championship Sunday’s inevitable conclusion.

 

And once the battle for second place had dwindled down to two players, that entertainment level ratcheted up in a major way.

 

In an engrossing semifinal showdown, Wawrinka and Murray slugged it out on the red clay of Roland Garros for four hours and 34 minutes. The five-set affair was a back-and-forth roller-coaster right from the start, as Wawrinka served for the opening set at 5-3, got broken, and also failed to capitalize on a set point in the tiebreaker before dropping it 10 points to eight.

 

The French Open winner in 2015, Wawrinka crushed 18 winners in the second set and cruised through it with two breaks of the Murray serve. They traded breaks in the third before the then-world No. 1 earned another break in the 11th game and served it out at 6-5. That paved the way to a high-quality fourth set, in which both players finished with five more winners than unforced errors without facing a single break point. A dominant performance by the Swiss in the ensuing ‘breaker proved to be the final turning point.

 

With momentum in hand, there was no letup from Wawrinka throughout the fifth. He cracked 15 winners to his opponent’s three, saved all four of the break points he faced, and converted match point at 5-1, 40-15 with an emphatic down-the-line backhand winner.

 

“I think it was quite a tough match today,” Wawrinka commented. “A big battle…. For sure it was amazing match I felt on the court. I enjoyed playing this match. For sure when you win, it’s better after. We had some crazy points with some good rallies, with some good level of tennis. And to play a semifinal here, at the French Open against Andy, No. 1 in the world, that’s something really special.

 

“So for sure I (will) enjoy it. I want to enjoy it a lot, because, as I say, it’s not all the time you can say you’re going to play a final of a Grand Slam, especially in Paris. I really want to enjoy that.”

 

“I came in playing garbage,” Murray admitted, referring to his pre-tournament form. “I’m proud of the tournament I had; I did well considering. I was one tiebreak away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling. So I have to be proud of that.

 

“Maybe the lack of matches hurt me a little bit in the end today. That was a very high intensity match–a lot of long points. When you haven’t been playing loads, over four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up to you a little bit.”

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Topics: , , , , ,





10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It

10SBALLS SHARES A WTA PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE HONG KONG TENNIS OPEN thumbnail

10SBALLS SHARES A WTA PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE HONG KONG TENNIS OPEN

Zhang Shuai of China in action against Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine during their semi-final match at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2018 in Hong Kong, China, 13 October 2018.
TENNIS PLAYERS’ UNION – IS IT NEEDED?  BY MARK WINTERS thumbnail

TENNIS PLAYERS’ UNION – IS IT NEEDED? BY MARK WINTERS

Roger Federer did it. So, did Caroline Wozniacki. They were the applauded and appreciated Australian Open singles winners. Much less well received was the brutal heat that turned the fortnight into the Dehydration Open.
WTA PHOTO GALLERY OF QIANG WANG, MUGURUZA, & MORE FROM THE HONG KONG TENNIS OPEN thumbnail

WTA PHOTO GALLERY OF QIANG WANG, MUGURUZA, & MORE FROM THE HONG KONG TENNIS OPEN

Wang Qiang of China in action against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during during the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2018 in Hong Kong, China, 12 October 2018.
NISHIKORI WINS, ANDERSON ANSWERS, ZVEREV ONE WIN AWAY FROM LONDON AT SHANGHAI MASTERS thumbnail

NISHIKORI WINS, ANDERSON ANSWERS, ZVEREV ONE WIN AWAY FROM LONDON AT SHANGHAI MASTERS

Kei Nishikori climbed one spot in the race to London thanks to his performance at the Shanghai Masters, but his Nitto ATP Finals bid ran into a major roadblock on Friday night.
JULIE HELDMAN TENNIS ROYALTY WRITES HER MEMOIRS thumbnail

JULIE HELDMAN TENNIS ROYALTY WRITES HER MEMOIRS

A Daughter’s Odyssey is a fascinating memoir by 1970s world-class tennis star Julie Heldman.